If I retire before 60, when can I access my super?

Q: I am 57. If I decided to retire before 60 when can I access my super?

If you have reached your preservation age AND retire, then you can access your super benefits. Australians can have a preservation age of 55 years (if born before July 1960), or at least 56 years and potentially up to 60 years (if born on or after 1 July 1960), depending on specific date of birth.

At the time of writing, if a person is 57 years of age, then they were clearly born before July 1960 which means such a person would have a preservation age of 55 years. If a person is born after June 1960, then preservation age ranges from 56 years and right up to 60 years.

A person who is currently 57 years of age (that is, born before July 1960) and retired can access super benefits immediately, subject to completing the paperwork with the relevant super fund.

My response is for information purposes only, and you’ll need to confirm how the rules apply for your personal circumstances by undertaking your own research, or by chatting to a financial adviser or accountant.

For the benefit of other readers: If you were born after 30 June 1964, then your preservation age is 60 years. If you were born after June 1960 and before July 1964, then your preservation age is either 56, 57, 58 or 59 years of age. You can learn more about your preservation age by reading this SuperGuide article: Accessing super: What is my preservation age?

Note: If you retire before the age of 60, then tax is payable on the taxable component of a super benefit. For information on the tax treatment of super benefits taken before the age of 60, see SuperGuide article Retiring before the age of 60: the tax deal.

For information on other ways you can access your super benefits before the age of 65, see SuperGuide article, Accessing super early: 14 legal ways to withdraw your super benefits.


  1. My super has reached preservation age as has my husbands.
    We are looking at retiring as he has a terminal illness. If we take both our supers as a lump sum (mine is in a taxed fund, his is not) how would this affect any entitlements to Social Security?
    We would like to pay off our mortgage and do some travelling whilst he is able.

  2. Fiona Knight says:

    I have been trying in vain to find a definition of retire – this person is asking about retiring prior to 60. The whole issue of ‘retiring’ is confusing – easier for the dole recipients – they just don’t work anyway.

  3. David Blakemore says:


    I am going back to the United Kingdom soon to look after my sick father. Can I have my superannuation policy cancelled and the funds transferred into a nominated bank in the UK?

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